DAMASCUS, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The swearing-in ceremony of President Bashar al-Assad began Wednesday and it will be followed by an inauguration speech, in which Assad will outline the features of his new seven-year-term in office.
The opening of the ceremony was announced by Parliament Speaker Jihad al-Laham, and followed by an honor guard review, during which Assad walked on a red carpet into the al-Sha'ab Palace in the capital Damascus on the beats of symphonic pieces.
Upon arriving into the hall, Assad was greeted by heavy clapping of Syrian delegations covering all spectral of the Syrian society that attended the ceremony.
Assad then was invited to podium to take the oath.
The Syrian ruler has won a third term in office June 3 vote that was the first multi-candidate poll with two other candidates running for the top post alongside Assad.
The Syrian opposition and Western powers have dismissed the presidential poll as "farce" as the elections were held in government-held territories.
The Syrian administration has been buoyed by the victories of the Syrian army and their main ally, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, whose fighters are battling alongside the regime forces against the jihadist rebels.
In his latest interview with the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper, Assad said national dialogue will characterize his new term in office.
Dialogue is the main focus of the current phase, the president told the newspaper. "We have reconciled with the armed men and declared a pardon for them so how can we not dialogue with each other," he said.
DAMASCUS, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his government will not stop fighting terrorism, noting that the regional and Western countries that supported the terrorism in Syria will pay steep price due to their actions. Full story